tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 7, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
germans on a wide range of issues, but particularly on security and intelligence matters. that is very important to national security of the united states and allies. we value that partnership. built on shared trust, friendship, and build on shared values. relationship. that is why we will work through this matter and ensure it is resolved appropriately with the >> did not come up in the call. of the arrestnt was made by law enforcement officials on friday. the call between the president and the chancellor called -- occurred on thursday. have said the president is looking for supplemental spending. will hehow much money
ask for? can you provide more details about that? >> i am not prepared to write now. we will have an announcement atut this tomorrow and then that point, we will have a lot of details on what exactly is included. you know it is related to our efforts to add additional border,s to our officials and others who can help us more rapidly and across the immigration cases that are currently back lot -- backlog. >> with regards to the plan to move for hire more judges to handle the situation along the border, are there concerns of displacing them elsewhere? alreadyresident talked about this a little bit. know is a view that is shared
among both democrats and republicans that there is work we can do to continue to secure the border. cases throughse the immigration system is a part of that. it is a part of our administration's commitment to deal with these in a humanitarian way. due process rights. the president believes it is important for those rights to be respected. at the same time, we should have an efficient process that reflects the state of u.s. law. committed toon is enforcing that law and if we can employ additional resources to ensure this is being employed officially, there is an element of that the president can do on sending them to the border areas. it is also why we are seeking
additional resources, to further supplement the resources a employed. >> the president still has no plans to visit the border during his trip later this week? >> correct. >> a statement from the u.s. about this, is what you just gave going to serve as a statement or should we expect an additional statement in the coming days? specifically addresses allegations? >> i am not in a position to comment further on this matter. you are welcome to ask in the days ahead. if there is additional information to share, i will. >> on the announcement tomorrow, will that be the supplemental announced?
howll these deals about much money and which subcommittees, those will be addressed then? >> yes. it is a detailed compilation. we will endeavor to make officials available to answer those kinds of questions. >> there was a report over the weekend suggesting president obama is secretly interested -- i am wondering if you can address whether there is anything accurate to the report or whether he plans to be involved? >> still in the middle of 2014, i am not aware of any particular position or candidates were all that thinking the president has done. i have not seen those reports. the president has got a full plate in front of him right now in terms of trying to move the
country forward and expanding the middle-class. on over the focused course of the next couple of years. if you want to talk politics late in 2016, we can do that. >> the president also asked for more latitude. signals fromen senate democrats that there is something there might be -- they might be interested in hearing? >> i'm not interested in specific conversations between democrats and the white house on this matter. both democrats and republicans, we should see bipartisan support for this. there is concern about the urgent humanitarian situation we the in the southwest border. giving the homeland security additional authority and distraction he can use, making
sure we are acknowledging this while alson issue, enforcing the law, is a priority, of this administration. it sounds like a bipartisan issue. when we are in a position to be more specific about what kind of useority we are seeking to to confront the situation, we the response will be bipartisan it -- in its support for getting that authority. >> how do you get around the fact many do not want to do any little thing without also dealing with immigration reform? all, there is one
reason immigration reform has not gotten done. house republicans have blocked a compromise proposal from coming to the floor of the house for a vote. effect, since bipartisan senate, has come to the we are confident of the past. we are familiar and even share that action on a comprehensive immigration reform proposal is necessary. what is also necessary is that we deal with this urgent situation that has cropped up in the last few weeks in the form of a spike of illegal migration. we are seeking additional authority that can be used to do with the situation in a humanitarian way that is aligned with our laws, which means those who seek to stay in the country
go through the due process. at the same time, there is a commitment on the part of this administration to enforce the understandre people that enforcing the law means if you do not have a legal basis for remaining in the country, that you will be returned to your home country. that is also one of the reasons we are seeking this greater authority. i will call you and you so that the question today. >> following up on what u.s. -- what you just said, you said this is an urgent humanitarian situation. are you not at all concerned about the option to raise political money but he cannot go see the humanitarian situation? >> we are not worried because the president is very aware of the situation that exists some
the southwest border. ,enior administration officials top cbp officials, even senior white house officials have traveled in the last couple of weeks to the white house border. influx ofen an illegal migration in central america. what we have also seen are the hhsrts working closely with to set up a detention facility to ensure that while those that are apprehended are detained in a humanitarian way, the law requires that. this is something the administration is committed to, enforcing the law. is well aware of what is happening along the southwest border here you have seen a wide range of steps to enforce the law. you have also seen -- and we
will get more details tomorrow, on the request the president will make with congress to get additional forces to address the problem. view that those who share the president's concern about the situation will be supportive of ensuring the administration has the resources necessary to deal with this situation and those who are genuinely concerned about the border more broadly should also be more strongly supportive with efforts to make a more historic investment, supportive of an effort to level the playing field for businesses who hire , and the individuals who say they are concerned about the border should also be supportive about the kinds of compromise and bipartisan proposal that would reduce the deficit area all those things
are contained in the common sense postal passed by the senate. those concerned about the president's travel this week should also be concerned about their support for a piece of legislation that would address so many of the problems they claim to be concerned about. >> when you say you want to expand authority to deal with this problem, you mean expedited the process by which these folks can be processed? to make the process more efficient? anything about the bottom-line issue here about families who come into the country and cannot be turned back immediately and with familyispersed members who have to live here around the country. you cannot expedite the process or can you, to the point where they're never introduced american study and therefore 90% of them never show up for their judicial -- requires -- this is
an antitrafficking law passed by congress in 2008 and signed in by law in the previous administration. we should be clear about the law , which mandates how children are treated in the immigration system. is for thatseeking process to be made more efficient and there are a variety of ways in which that process can be made more efficient some of which by exercising the authority they arty have and some of it by exercising the authority the secretary of homeland security already seeks. bottom line is the law will be enforced. children who have been apprehended will go through
the court process. not have a found to legal basis for remaining in the country, they will be returned. say it is unlikely most of the kids who go through --s process will not qualify it is unlikely most of the kids who go through the process will qualify for humanitarian relief, that is to say, most of them will not be found through that court process to have a legal basis to remain in this country. >> many of them do not submit themselves. >> that is one of the reasons we are seeking these facilities that can house more children in a humanitarian way so we can do with the backlog more efficiently. we are seeking and lawyers soes the weight is not long so the
whole process can run efficiently in a way that is consistent with our values about away human beings should be treated and also in a way that is consistent with what the law but hires. we are committed to filling the tenets of that law. that is likely to require some children to be sent back to their home countries. that is why we have spoken in aear and candid terms that parent who is considering putting their children in the hands of a criminal, with only the promise that child will be welcomed with open arms america should not do so. the journey is dangerous. the promise is one that cannot be fulfilled. if the children to not have a legal basis for remaining in the country, and as i mentioned, it childrenkely for those -- unlikely to qualify for humanitarian relief, they will be sent home. >> thank you. lookingant to clarify
at it in a different way. you are saying most of these children will be returned to their homes in central america? that is not what we heard and certainly not in that clear of a statement. >> there is due process here we will respect that. we are trying to be careful about the way i am phrasing what i'm saying here. specific and will be treated on a case-by-case basis. that is what the law requires and that is why we are again seeking -- seeking additional judges and lawyers who can process the claims more quickly to ensure each case is heard and given the requisite amount of attention. based on what we know about the cases, it is not likely most of these kids will qualify for humanitarian relief.
that means they will not have a legal basis for remaining in the country and will be returned. >> we know about 600 miners are from non-border states over the last decade or so. 95 last year according to the director, even as the flash flood from central america, five times more from two years earlier, has been pouring from the southwest border. why do you think now more children will be sent back when we -- recent indications say that is not the case. >> we will have additional resources we can use in the court system. additional judges and lawyers. we will be able to put into thee -- to add capacity to system that will allow these claims to be a processed more quickly. that is in the best interest of those who are seeking to enforce the law like the administration
is doing. it is in the best interest of the humanitarian concerns many people have about the treatment of these children. additional resources will be .llowed for these two process the from a policy matter, overall apprehensions along the border have only risen by a slight amount. seen is ave significant increase in the processing of children and individuals from central america. there is a certain segment that accounts for the spike. abovel levels are not far what we have seen in the last few years. what we have seen is a historic low. outside oftalking guatemala and honduras. >> in terms of the broader security situation, we remain
near historic lows we have been at for the last several years. there is a spike in this specific population. we would like congress to give the administration additional resources while respecting the basic two process rights these individuals have. in terms of enforcement of law and adults with children who operate at the border, that has not changed. it is important for people to understand efficiency of that important process has improved. thebottom line is administration's commitment to enforcing the law, at the same time we respect the basic humanitarian needs of those who are apprehended. >> what do you make of the video where the head of the islamic [indiscernible]
about the iraqi government? >> we have not been able to determine the authenticity of the video. it is something currently being reviewed i the community and the state -- the intel community and the state department. >> you have been cooperating with the yemeni government over the years. what does it say now about the new attack? reviewing in yemen? >> i have not seen the reports of the situation you're talking about and we will have to follow-up view on the matter. >> there are only a few
legislative days left in the next month and the trust fund will run out of money. is there a proposal on capitol hill you have seen to replenish that? >> the proposal i have seen that i like the best is by this administration. it is a commonsense proposal that deserves bipartisan support that is all too rare in washington. involves closing loopholes that only benefit a wealthy and well-connected. that generates some revenue that can be used to dress the issues that benefit everybody. jobsuld create a lot of and support a lot of jobs that are at risk. there are a lot of reasons why would we put forward is a commonsense proposal. we are open to reviewing other proposals others may put forward.
in terms of how we think the important piece of business should get done, we have been clear. budget request for immigration, will it only be immigration or are their talks on the hill? terrorism the partnership funds. >> it will include these other things as well. we will have that tomorrow. init was said this morning the immigration system, if that is the case, why could they not say that when esther keely yesterday, he could not say what he said. >> would he was very clear about was the commitment to making sure >> he talking about other options. >> he was asked directly about whether or not the administration is committed to enforcing the law.
>> will most of the children in this situation be returned to their home? we are looking at ways to create additional options for dealing with the children in particular. what are those additional options? know, the 2008 law requires a specific handling of the children who originated in these countries. when he is talking about isitional options, he talking about processing them through the system. that means in some cases sending them back to their home country. once they go to the immigration system, it is our view it is unlikely for -- that most of the kids qualify for humanitarian relief. if they do not and do not have a legal basis for remaining in the country, they will be sent back. when ado you react democratic congressman from texas said yesterday he thinks
the white house has been one step behind and should have crisis wass ago this developing and basically suggested he had not done anything? >> the administration has been proactive as we have dealt with this situation. we have increased the amount of resources currently deployed to more efficiently process the cases by adding judges and lawyers and officials. we can more efficiently process these claims. we have opened up the facility to make sure adults who arrive in this country have a place they can stay while the immigration process is playing out. we have improved our efficiency when it comes to apprehending adults at the border and quickly processing their claims and in most cases, sending them back to the country where they originated. the demonstration has been working proactively in a
difficult situation, with the idea in mind it is important to respect the basic humanitarian needs of those who show up on our border, but also to enforce the law. >> the department of homeland security had a contract for january of this year looking for escorts. if the administration in january had a contract out there looking for escorts to help those kids, does that not mean the micturition knew that was coming and is not actually go active if the contract was out there and yet you still have a problem developing? >> i am not aware. senator johnson from wisconsin had a lot out ofre suggesting lawmakers both parties and staffers should not have a health care law. you had speaker banner and the
president's push on him in terms of his lawsuit billion terms of his actions. when you see the lawsuit, how do you react? >> there are republican members of congress who articulate they do not agree with the lawsuit would forward and they do not believe senator johnson's interpretation of the law is consistent with their interpretation. there is republican disagreement about the wisdom of the law secretary johnson is pursuing. president believes the whole goal of the affordable care act was to lowerplace health-care care costs and expand access to affordable health insurance for every american including those employed by small businesses. we have been clear about what the goals are. someognize there may be who do not share the goals. that is unfortunate during our efforts to enforce this law and implement it in a way that
expands access to health care -- major? spoken about have due process repeatedly. it also sounds like you prejudged the outcome. >> it would be inaccurate to interpret the commons i have made here as an effort to prejudge the process. we are committed to the rule of law. important each of the cases is adjudicated on a case-by-case basis and evaluated specific claims. knowledge our general about the children from central america who have appeared at the border in rising numbers, that our knowledge, as a general matter of the case, indicates it is not likely the majority of those children will qualify for humanitarian relief. is our effort to convey to
you as much information as we have about this situation. it is in no way an effort to that eachue process of these individuals is entitled to. >> you do not think there will be an indirect effect on those heading up to the border to carry out these due process procedures, to hear from the podium that most of them will qualify for humanitarian relief? -do not. i think the people being sent to do with this problem are highly trained professionals and that they will look very carefully at the claims of each of these individuals and they will carry out the proceedings in accordance with the law. those are the restrictions they have received from the president and from the secretary of homeland security. that is what we have a high expectation they will do. >> be prepared to say what you
have said this morning and let those who might be considering this as an option in central america no do not come because you are likely to be sent back and i will enforce the law. about present was direct this a few days ago interview. >> you said something different. said, do not send your children here. he went on to explain why that was the case. is in line with our loss. -- laws. the other thing the president highlighted, what we're talking about is a dangerous journey. in many cases, it is a journey being led by criminal matters seeking only to prey upon those in desperate situations. it is deplorable. it is one of the reasons the
administration is receiving authority to crack down on them. criminal -- by handing out specific punishments for those caught in a very vulnerable state. our commitment to enforcing the candid message being delivered to families throughout central america is that they should not entrust their children in the hands of criminals on the promise they will be welcomed in the united states of america. >> saying these allegations are true, you volunteered. that is a big if and to my ears, that sounded like denial. >> that is not what it was. it was an observation about her question. not that it was an unreasonable
question, just that it was predicated -- >> she was quoting the chancellor of germany saying, if this was true it would cost to breach from our government. that is not a hypothetical. is a big if and i am wondering what the context is . it sounded like you are saying these allegations are not likely to be proven true. >> that is not what i'm saying. it is an assumption based on my effort to be as candid as possible with julie. this is an intelligence matter. i am not in a position to comment on it from here. as it relates to our relationship with germany, it is for a whole for they of reasons, including
partnership we have when it comes to our nation's national security and our intelligence network. we value that relationship. >> win a judge on that set in some cases, the deportation hearing can take years. presently, word of that has been making its way to the back of the country. thehat not undermining president and vice president, even two or three years. they are being welcomed in the united states. meets a couple of things. it is one of the reasons again the president has directed the officials,judges, and attorneys be dedicated to deal with the back lots.
the other thing is -- that is important to understand is -- people who are showing up in the next few weeks are likely to have their cases processed efficiently through the system. due process will be respected. humanitarian responsibilities to beed by the law respected, these children when housed in awill be facility maintained by hhs. the administration is committed to be enforcing the law. >> you will do a last in and laughed out? >> is more competition than can
be described in an introduction to accounting >>. we are seeking additional resources so we can real down the backlog but also address the basic due process claims of the border. it is my understanding the releases take place because of the backlog. we are trying to trim the backlog but also prioritize those. >>, which of those promised a court they are showing a further hearing? >> i do not have specific numbers. >> is there a reason? >> it is important to understand. number, it would
not give you an accurate picture of what is happening. we have seen a recent surge in the last few weeks of recent arrivals. sometimes, because the backlog appearthy, the notice to is a lengthy time. it might not necessarily give you an accurate picture of what happened. >> it is a small number. >> i do not have the number in front of me. >> is it closer to 10%, 100%? less i think the number would go straight the court -- would illustrate it is not operating as efficiently. that is why we are seeking additional resources to deal with those who have been recently apprehended and making sure we are enforcing the law.
>> it showed back in 2008, there were more than 8000 miners sent year, the number had fallen to less than 2000. it was almost 1/5 of what it had been. you that not show that what are saying is disinformation, that when smugglers promise [indiscernible] this administration has not really been deporting. >> what is important is the difference between 2008 and the more recent statistics. the passage of that law, signed into law by the previous president. what that law mandated is different in the way children who arrived in the country from noncontinuous countries are treated in immigration system. reflect or you cite are the consequence of this it ministration's --
administration's consistent enforcement of the law. we are seeking greater authority for the secretary of homeland security to exercise discretion that would allow him to make that process more efficient and, in some cases, more quickly and probably -- promptly remove children from the country if it is found they do not qualify for humanitarian relief. understanding those numbers presented this morning in the someone to take into account what the enforcement of the law requires. aat that law required was longer process for adjudicating the cases of these children from 19 -- noncontiguous countries. >> showing some of the miners who come into the country illegally are i am large able to stay. there have been so few deportations. i am not blaming it on the
law. i am merely citing this is what the law requires. there is a suggestion from our opponents that the problem is the president is not enforcing the law. he is. we are seeing a greater authority to more effectively enforce that law that would allow the it ministration to act more quickly to return children from the country they originated . >> i have a question from another subject if you can remind me. the president's tweets. i understand those are not directly written by him. does he even read them and know they're going out? are they reviewed by the white house or is that simply doing something on his behalf? i am suspecting you asked me about a tweet i have not seen. the twitter handle is maintained by os a.
the political organization, the offshoot of the campaign. it is a twitter handle maintained independently of the white house. >> what i'm going to ask about is, after the hobby lobby decision, a throwback thursday tweet to a throwback of last week when a woman made her own decisions about her own health care. does the president believe because of the hobby lobby decision, women were not allowed to make their own decisions about health care? >> that is certainly true of women in some cases, that what the spin court ruling, the consequences of that is it will allow bosses to interfere with what the president believes should be the freedom that any woman has to make her own decisions about her health care. >> he was aware of the tweet as
far as you know? >> i'm not sure. the twitter handle is maintained independently of the white house. i am not aware of it. it sounds like, based on your description, it is consistent with a priority the president and this administration have attempted to advance, which is that women should have the freedom to make their own decisions about their health care without interference from their boss. >> the administration has made it clear from the beginning and during the latest crisis that the priority is for an increase in the national government. iraqird overnight the parliament will not intervene until the 12th. the government for nation is paralyzed. is the administration satisfied with the effort so far for iraqi leaders to overcome the issue and what else can be united states do to move along that
process? --i have been candidate willd, i think, that we not move more quickly to unify that country. that nation faces an x essential l right now and threat, theyhat will have to be united. by anas been confronted array of people, particularly the vice president, who has been on the phone. we made clear that is a necessary step. that theade clear president has made it clear additional military involvement will only be done in coordination with tangible commitments from iraq's leaders to have a more inclusive
government agenda. the reason is this x essential security dimension to it but it only highlights the degree to which iraq is honorable. it will require iraq's put the leaders from each of the major communities in iraq, the shia, the sunni, to put aside those divisions and put the interests of the country first. we are urging iraq leaders to do that and to do it more than they have in the last few weeks. president biden called and rather than move up, they're moving it back. aside?y brushing >> no, we have seen constructive
words from other leading members of her rack's society. commentsrepresentative and urge the iraqi political leadership to do the same thing. we have seen other countries in the region urge iraq a political leaders to come together and unify the country. i think there is widespread agreement in the region and inund the world that the way which this problem can be solved is pretty clear. i certainly have not tried to minimize the difficulty is making these kinds of decisions in reaching these kinds of agreements. to be blunt about it, reaching those agreements and making those to the gold decision -- those difficult decisions are necessary for iraq to survive. >> thank you. i was talking last week to the , the josh from missouri
cocounsel in the hobby lobby case. he noticed there are 50 other cases pending that involved .onprofits with a the president, stroke of a pen, could set aside all of these cases of executive order that would either , using strong language, previous executive designateth care, or certain parties, such as the or an insurer to handle health care, which abortion inducing contraception's are involved. what are your comments it is the president considering executive order?
-- >>our belief for henry our belief for handling the situation is that hobby lobby and the spin court struck down one part signed into law by the president. to resolveut how congressation is for to pass a law. the difficulty congress has in taking steps like this, i am not naïve. but in this matter, our first priority for resolving the situation is passing a law. >> no executive order. >> our first priority is for congress to take action and that is what i would like to see. talked a lot about the core of the immigration problem right now. country is for our they are able to get past the border and the law in place that caters specifically to them.
would you agree that is our problem right now? of the our root cause humanitarian crisis you mentioned. >> if we can enjoy success in cooperation that would stem the , that would be a benefit to our country. we are engaged in pretty intensive diplomacy. you have seen in the last couple of weeks the vice president and the secretary of state traveled to that region to meet with leaders of those countries to try to deal with the situation there. that involved increasing funding for programs that would promote community development and set up centers to make it more whocient to move children left the country back into that country. greaterinvolved cooperation with law enforcement officials, that we have existing law enforcement relationships to improve citizen security in those countries. we are engaged in a variety of efforts, some of which are underway in the home country who
are seeking to travel to this one. it is accurate to point out there is an urgent humanitarian bloomion that is in full on the u.s. order. that is why you have seen the deployment of additional resources to try to do it that. >> if enforcing the law has contributed to the crisis, because we need to house and deal with them through the courts, with the president not then advocate for changing that administratione handle values of that law, or do you think expanding the leeway of dhhs will be enough question mark >> this is a multifaceted solution. the first is the bed rock requirement. we are also seeking additional authority from congress that can be given to exercise some discretion more promptly on how
to remove children who, it is found to the court process, that they do not have a legal basis for remaining in the country. >> the law basically needs to be changed? willow most of the kids not have that remedy within their situations anyway. >> you're right. it is our expectation that after going through the legal process, the majority of these kids will not qualify for humanitarian relief. the law we are discussing is an antitrafficking law. there are important benefits. there are kids moving trafficking from asia, for example, who need to have the kind of guarantees and protections in terms of ensuring due process is followed. the law is important. recent surge we have seen from central american
countries, there is an additional story to back can be used -- story that can be used to enforce the law more effectively in the best interests of the country and the children. >> the supplemental request, will that include fees for border security or is this all remedied? >> the requests we are seeking sit -- principally focused on immigration resources -- judges, lawyers, prosecutors, i would can make sure these cases are processed more efficiently. the thing now, i have seen reporting's on your network and outlets that a lot of these individuals traveling from central american countries are not necessarily seeking to get through the border. they are seeking out border patrol officers so they can be detained and go through the immigration system. we are certainly interested in
making sure we have the additional resources in place in the immigration does them to process those claims more quickly. in most cases, we are talking about adults, they can be returned to their country more quickly. those are concerned about border security, and i saw there were a couple of republicans forceful on their advocacy for increased border security on a couple of sunday morning programs. the fact of the matter is, copper has of immigration reform passed in the senate and is eating blocked by republicans in the house including border security. they are against comprehensive immigration reform and yet are committed to criticize and the president for his lack of effort to secure the border, are opened to have their motives questioned. i hope they will be when they do an additional interview on your
network. thanks, everybody. have a good monday. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> you heard josh earnest responding to questions about immigration policy. we would like to know if you think president obama should use executive authority on immigration. about 1000 of you have weighed in so far on our facebook page. one says, no, he should go to congress and follow the law like everyone else. this from dave -- >> you can see what others are saying. go to our facebook page. the discussion on the israeli-palestinian conflict, the future of palestine's unity
government, the peace process, and the death of three kidnapped teens. teams -- rt -- and more on the heightened friction in the middle east now. president obama should send secretary of state john kerry to israel to halt tensions there after the murder of three teenagers, senator mccain urged yesterday. secretary mccain and secretary kerry could go to the region and try to do diplomacy, which was set on cbs's face the nation. this thing is to endanger of spiraling out of control, that is from political today. >> for over 35 years, c-span brings public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings, and conferences. and offering complete gavel to gavel coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service
to private industry. we are c-span, created by cable tv industry 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable, satellite provider. like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> a panel of senior judges recently discussed the challenges of maintaining their independence where judges are increasingly subjected to partisan election campaigns. one of the judges involved in the 2000 bush v. gore case and an iowa judge who lost her job due to a ruling on same-sex marriage. this is co-hosted by the national association of women judges.
>> ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us and welcome to the national constitution center. i'm jeffrey rosen, the president of this wonderful institution, the national constitution center is the only institution in america chartered by dock congress to disemanate information about the u.s. constitution on a nonpartisan basis and to fulfill that inspiring goal, we have a series of programs we call ourselves america's town hall and we bring together the best voices from all sides of the spectrum to debate the constitutional issues in the center of american life. in the next few weeks we have a series of programs that i hope
you'll join us for, including on june 20, david boies and ted olson will come to discuss their new book about marriage equality. on june 26, we'll have a wonderful debate with our partners at intelligence squared about the constitutionality of restrictions on campaign finance reform. on june 16 we'll have discussion of the cell phone case that's the supreme court is about to decide and talk about the future of the fourth amendment with the two advocates who argued the cell phone cases before the
court here at the constitution center. it's a wonderful series of events coming up, and i hope you'll join us both here at the center, online and on our website. i'm especially thrilled, ladies and gentlemen, to introduce today's program presented in partnership with the national association of women judges. this is a program near and dear to my heart. my friend, justice pariente and i, more than a year ago at g.w. law school, where i teach and where you graduated from, talked about how wonderful it would be to bring together women judges who are defending the idea of nonpartisanship and the rule of law, to talk about their concrete experiences with judicial elections, with the challenges of merit retention
systems and to give you, the people, a direct insight into the real threats to judicial independence that are faced by judges today. you'll have an opportunity to learn more about the national association of women judges and about their inspiring goal. like ours, it is to be nonpartisan and to encourage votes for judges based on character, integrity, fairness, and a willingness to decide cases based on the law. we are also delighted to recognize mark robinson of the american board of trial advocates, who's a partner for today's program. please turn off your cell phones and prepare for a really engaging discussion. and now, let me introduce our esteemed and extremely impressive panelists. former chief justice of the iowa supreme court. she currently practices law in des moines, iowa, focuses on appellate case consulting litigation. she was appointed to the iowa supreme court in 1993 by the governor and selected by her peers to serve as chief justice in 2006. her term on the court expired on december 31, 2010. and you will hear her striking story about the reaction to a decision that she issued in iowa and the consequences that it had in iowa. justice barbara has been a justice of the florida supreme court since 1997 and served as chief justice from 2004 to 2006. she's been involved in her time with the court with several notable cases, including the bush v. gore case from 2000, the michael schiavo case from 2004 and fascinating cases we've discussed involving dogsmiths and searches and seizures. you've had sobering reactions to your decisions as well and we'll learn about them. finally, i'm absolutely honored to welcome to the national
constitution center judge anna blackburne-rigsby, who is the president of the national association of women judges. she was nominated by president george w. bush to the district of columbia court of appeals in 2006. she chairs the district of columbia's court standing committee on fairness and access. she's a commission ore the district's access to justice commission. and before her appointment she was nominated by president bill clinton to serve as an associate judge in the superior court of the district of columbia. this is quite a remarkable panel and i'd like you to join me in welcoming them to the national constitution center. [applause] judge, we're going to begin with you. you had an extraordinary experience in iowa. you issued an opinion in a case involving iowa's defense of marriage act. tell us about that case and your decision. >> well, our court had an appeal >> well, our court had an appeal from 12 same-sex couples, 12 individuals, six same-sex
couples, who had been denied a marriage license in iowa, based on iowa's version of the defense against marriage act. they challenged the constitutionality of that statute under the iowa constitution's equal protection clause. our court issued a unanimous decision that the statute did in fact violate the equality rights of these individuals. >> and describe the reaction to that decision. >> well, the case was controversial even before we issued our opinion. there was a lot of social commentary, a lot of public discussion of whether same-sex marriage should be allowed or not. and there were demonstrations outside of the judicial branch building when we heard oral arguments on the case. so we knew that our decision would be controversial. and when we issued the decision, of course, it was very controversial. and there were a lot of groups who were opposed to our decision, primarily on religious grounds.
>> some of those groups took out tv ads and we have videos of some of those ads now. >> right. the actual -- i think the opposition reached its crescendo when three members of our court happened to be on the retention ballot. in other words, we were up for retention. voters were asked to vote, yes, retain these judges, no, do not retain these judges, in the 2010 general election. and what you're about to see were ads that were created to campaign against our retention. >> let us see the ads. >> we will leave this discussion
to go live to the u.s. house. members will gavel in for a brief pro forma session on this monday and we will return to this discussion at the end of this pro forma session. now come alive to the floor of the u.s. house. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order.
the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. july 7, 2014. i hereby appoint the honorable mark meadows to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. loving and gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. as the members of this assembly return from days away celebrating our nation's birth, grant them safe and restful journey. may they return ready to assume a difficult work which must be done. we pray for the needs of the nation and world and all of creation. bless those who seek to honor
you and serve each other and all americans in this house through their public service. may the words and deeds of this place reflect an earnest desire for justice, and may men and women in government build on the tradition of equity and truth that represents the noblest heritage of our people. may your blessing, o god, be with us this day and every day to come, and may all we do be done for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to section 3-a of house resolution 641, the journal of the last day's proceeding is approved. the chair will lead the house in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
pursuant to section 3-b of house resolution 641, the house stands adjourned until noon >> the house will be bad for legislative business tomorrow. and will work on 8 bills anti-terrorism standards at chemical facilities. later, they will have worked training programs for 2015. we will have live coverage here on c-span. now, back to the discussion on judicial independence and politics. >> after the judges become political ignoring the will of voters and opposing same-sex marriage on iowa, liberal out of control judges ignoring our traditional values and legislating from the bench. >> people can go for or against a judge based on what they want.
that is how democracy works. i think it is important for citizens to know when they are exercising their vote in that way that there are consequences to voting judges out of office because they have issued an opinion that is contrary to public opinion. >> what are the consequences? >> well, it clearly sends a message to judges that in the future, they should hesitate to issue an opinion that may be correct under the law, that may be a decision, a result, that the law demands and yet, is unpopular. they're telling those judges to check the opinion polls on the issue and follow those, rather than following the law. and that's a very dangerous message to be sending. it was exactly the message intended by those who opposed our retention. they said on their website, we intend to send a message across iowa and across the country that judges ignore the will of the people at their peril.
and so it was a message of intimidation, and certainly the fact that we weren't retained, that voters bought into that, sent a message to judges by citizens. we want you to follow what we think the law ought to be, rather than what the law is. >> do you think that message has changed the way judges are deciding cases now? >> well, i think we're naive to think that it doesn't have an impact on judges, whether it's consciously thinking, gosh, if i make this decision i'm going to make this group mad or business big will come after me or whether it's subconscious in the back of their mind that they don't even realize is there. sure it has an impact, but it's not measurable. judges are human. i don't think as a citizen it's comfortable with them having to worry about whether they're going to keep their job. it shouldn't be about the judge keeping his or her job, it should be about enforcing the constitutional rights that we
value. >> what was unusual about your case? have there been previous examples where all three judges were voted out because of unpopular decisions? >> we never had a retention election that was controversial. in fact, i had two prior retention elections. this was my third. i think it was my first retention election when somebody came into my office the day after the election and asked me, well, how much of the vote did you get? and i had forgotten that i was on the ballot. that's how much they were just, you know, they were just not controversial. >> and remind the audience, the merit selection and retention system is a nonpartisan system, where you're selected because of your abilities and stellar credentials, not because of your politics. >> a nonpartisan commission composed of lay persons and law-educated persons, licensed attorneys, interview applicants,
and based on the applicant's professional qualifications, their integrity and character, choose the three most highly qualified individuals. and those names are then sent to an appointing authority in iowa, it's the governor. and the governor has 30 days to appoint the person -- appoint a new judge from among those three nominees. the intent is to take politics out of the appointment process. and then the retention election is a way to involve voters and give them an opportunity to remove judges. you know, mistakes can be made, and notwithstanding the merit-based commission system, if a judge proves unfit or becomes unfit, then they can be removed through the retention ballot. >> we'll talk more with all your colleagues about what has changed. but i want to know, what was unusual about this case? was it the nature of the topic, the marriage equality, or the internet? why did it happen in iowa? >> well, i think it happened in iowa because of the issue.
and i really think all the money that poured into iowa came in because it was a startling decision in the heartland. it was startling because it was unanimous. and the individuals who oppose same-sex marriage felt we have to stop this now. and the only way we're going to do it is to intimidate other judges in other states, so they won't do what the iowa supreme court did, and by removing us from office, that was the message they intended to send. obviously, you can see from the videos that the internet, youtube, media, all that made it easier for them to sell their message. >> now, many other courts have considered the same-sex marriage question since iowa, and it's my understanding that every court to consider the issue has in fact since the supreme court's decision last year ruled in favor of marriage equality. did this campaign successfully intimidate other judges, or did they have selection systems that
made them immune to those sort of pressures? >> i think most of the decision that is you're referring to are in federal courts, where they don't have to worry about whether they're going to be retained because they have lifetime appointmes. >> so there really is a difference between the federal and state systems when it comes to judicial independence. >> i think the fact that federal judges do not think there will be retaliation against them for making a decision that's correct under the law, yet unpopular, certainly gives them some freedom to make those decisions without having to worry about their own career. and, yes, that's probably a significant difference. >> what is the solution to the experience that you underwent? what is a better s. appointing state court judges -- system in appointing state court judges? >> i think before one discusses what is the best system for choosing judges or retaining judges, citizens need to ask themselves what kind of court
they want. do they want a court that makes decisions under the law, that upholds the rule of law, or do they want a decision -- a court that makes decisions based on who's the most popular, who has the most money, who shouts the loudest? and so once you make that decision, whether you want a court that makes political decisions or makes judicial decisions based on the rule of law, then i think you look to a system that minimizes the opportunity for politics to get into the system. and i certainly think that a retention election, where it's a simple yorne vote versus running against -- yes or no vote, versus running against someone, minimizing the opportunity for politics to get into the system. but no system is immune from politics. there is no perfect system that can guard against politics coming into judicial selection and retention.
the only way that's going to stay out is for voters to demand that the systems remain nonpolitical. >> are voters likely to demand that? >> well, we're trying to educate them on the impact of their votes. the voters in iowa were sending a message to judges, we want you to behave like politicians. we want you to test the winds and go with public opinion. we don't care that it's correct under the law. or another big component, of course, in iowa was that we violated god's will by ruling the way we did. so the message there is, i guess, that i should have checked the bible or checked with my -- the priest in my church to ask how i should vote, rather than checking the iowa constitution and our long years of case law, which were in fact consistent with our decision. >> and you've warned, in fact, that voters should not turn judges into theologians in robes or politicians in robes.
>> i don't think they should. that's the voter's choice. they can turn judges into theologians in robes and politicians in robes. >> you now have the opportunity to speak and write about the importance of judicial independence. what do you tell voters when you're trying to persuade them not to turn judges into politicians in robes? >> well, i think that the rule of law is what distinguishes our democracy from other forms of government. and we have to be willing to up hold the rule of law, even when it upholds the rights of others, others whom we may disagree with. if the law doesn't protect everybody, if the law depends on who's standing in front of the judge, then we don't have neutral decision-making, we don't have fair and impartial judges, and we cannot say we are a society governed by the rule of law. >> well said, judge. thank you very much for that.
[applause] >> i want to turn to our next justice. you were on the panels that decided bush v. gore and the terry schiavo case. but it was a 2012 case involving an amendment to the affordable care act that your court rejected and got a lot of heat. what was the amendment, and what did you hold? >> first of all, i must say that 2010, with what happened in iowa, was a bellwether year. and as you all may recall, the health care -- affordable health care act, obamacare, had passed. and there was a lot of controversy about it. in our state we have a way of amending the state constitution by legislative initiative or state
initiative. there had been an initiative to put on the ballot that would have voters say yes or no, we are for obamacare or against it. and that's their prerogative. the only issue that the florida supreme court deals with is whether the ballot summary is misleading. and in this case, the ballot summary had talked about that if you voted for this amendment, which was against obamacare, you would eliminate waiting times for doctor's visits, that was essentially it. when it came before us, each side -- they both conceded it was misleading, but they wanted us to rewrite the ballot summary. the majority of us, five of us, said we didn't have that power. the irony was by 2012 a new amendment had been proposed which had already been approved. but what happened was, my view is right after the iowa election
and emboldened by that, we had immediate signs that there were three justices that were up for merit retention, myself and two of my colleagues, and that they were going -- these groups, partisan groups, special interest groups, were going to run a campaign to take us out of office. and just like justice ternus, i had been on the court since 1998. i had gone through two prior merit retention elections, and as a supreme court justice, one as an appellate judge. i had been a lawyer -- well, i'm now 41 years out of c.w. so although we know each other, weren't contemporaries, although i would have loved to be. the retention -- i know pennsylvania is not a retention state. the idea, as justice ternus
said, was you are on the ballot, not that you did something wrong. it's not a recall. you're just on the ballot every six years, and the best we could tell is a check to see, as justice ternus said, if the judge has violated ethical standards or integrity or is not hardworking or is being political is a chance for the voters. the problem is that there's a low level of knowledge about why the judges are even on the ballot. because, again, in our federal system, what did the founding fathers do? to avoid judges being beholden to the will of the king, the will of those in power. so our election was not really about a single decision. it was about 16 years of just saying we had ruled in ways that were against the mainstream, against popular opinion and that
type of situation. so we didn't have a hot button issue. but nevertheless, we had a very vigorous campaign to oppose the justices. we made a decision different than iowa, seeing what happened, is that the justices were not going to just let this happen. so we had ways to organize getting judges trying to educate the voters on what was at stake. and that continued over really a junior period. >> well, let's see the ad, which, as you said, raised several issues. >> this is a compilation of what ran. >> like a mixed tape of judicial attack. let's take a look. >> we will try again for the volume. >> one more was a criminal case.
>> on a day such as this, in a parking lot like this one, jean, 38 years old, was the victim of two horrendous attacks. barbara pariente threw out the conviction, citing a never before realized legal technicality. they gave this unrepentant killer another chance. >> when power is in the people and not -- >> where the rule of law still matters and the constitution still means what it's always meant, not what some judge thinks it should be. >> imagine a world in which florida didn't have to compete
with california, new york and massachusetts to have some of the most activist judges in america. >> no more justices playing politics. >> where they stand for freedom. >> it's our last hope. >> education, patient rights and education. tell them to stop judicial activism. >> america needs health care reform. but with the new health care reform, it gives washington more control over our health care.
that's why many cases have voted against it. not florida. our own supreme court denied our right to choose for ourselves. shouldn't our courts protect our right to choose? you be the judge. get the facts and sign the petition. >> that's the last one. >> ok, wow. >> and what you see, and i think this is important for the viewers, is you hear some of the same buzzwords being used, judicial activism, legislating from the bench, being against property rights or different rights, the right to vote. and so these are these buzzwords that are meant to affect citizens that somehow courts are acting in their own self-interest and against the interests of americans, of our
citizens. and the last ad was paid for by americans for prosperity, which is the coke brother group. and others ran on the internet. and that has been a very successful tool, the social media. you asked about what's changed. 16 years ago social media was virtually nonexistent. social media is a very powerful tool now to get to constituencies that have that ability to get their message out. >> so describe the affect of these ads. the ads say people should call you and oppose political activism. how many people called you? >> we learned that we didn't really want calls to our offices, but we ended up, in florida, not only having different groups opposing us,
but by october, the republican party of florida had come out against us using a decision -- the first decision was called nixon vs. florida and it had to do with an issue of rights of -- constitutional rights to representation. but it had been a 2003 decision. we were now in 2012. so what we had was dredging up a case -- we didn't let somebody out of prison. the issue was they were going to get a new trial. and that was used as if -- you know, because this issue of being soft on crime, again as another theme, as opposed to protecting constitutional rights. in the end -- and i say the republican party. it would be just as bad if it was the democratic party, coming out in a nonpartisan state for or against judges. that was the whole reason in our state that judges became
nonpartisan. but what i believe what happened is with our ability to organize and get our message out to the citizens, we were overwhelmingly retained. in other words, our percentages were excellent, i believe, and it was excellent across all party lines that citizens properly informed did not want to transform the courts into a power-grab for one governor or one side or the other. they recognized separation of powers, checks and balances, everything the national constitution center wants to emphasize, they appreciated the judges cannot be intimidated in making a decision that is right on the facts and the law, but may be wrong on the political or popularity poll of the day. >> this is the most exciting and inspiring constitutional news i've heard this week.
so tell us, how precisely were you able to launch a campaign in favor of political independence? >> we've heard a lot about campaign finance and campaign reform. it is a particularly problematic issue for the judiciary, because judges are not there to raise money. we are prohibited from raising money, at least in the state of florida, and i think in other merit-retention states. so committees have to form to assist you. those are going to be lawyers, lawyers that may appear before you. that's why we're so pleased to have the american board of trial advocates, which is a bipartisan, nonpartisan organization of lawyers understanding the threat. it's not about being for business, against business, for consumers, against consumers, it's about judges who, when everyone comes into the courtroom, that they are going to get a judge who will look at the facts, look at the law and not look at who the litigants
are and decide that case. so it was, i believe, a triumph for fair and i am partial courts. but as judge blackburne-rigsby will tell you, we're seeing this crop up across the country. >> how does it work? what are the mechanics -- do you do social media ads about the importance of this? >> well, in states like florida, if they were to run a state-wide ad for a week, it would cost $1 million. we didn't have anything close to that. also, we were prohibited from actually the three of us, the justices who were being attacked, we couldn't do ads together because of our own canons. so we did use effectively going to editorial boards. we did use the social media. we had facebook. i was very upset when my facebook page came up and i didn't get a lot of likes,
because i found out that actually in the social media world you have to actually drive people to those sites, and that costs money. we did have independent groups that did run ads for us. but i really don't know the mechanics of it. because under campaign laws, you can't coordinate with third-party groups. the idea of campaigning -- and i know there are states that have wonderful judges. but the idea for judges campaigning, it's really contrary to what we are about. just like justice ternus said, she didn't want to see those ads running against us. you know, it's not like we're in an ivory tower, but we want to be insulated from what you see on tv, what the public opinion poll is of the day, because public opinion changes. i'll bet if justice ternus had that decision today, the public opinion could be different.
you can't make a decision -- brown v. board of education would never have been decided if it was based on popular opinion, certainly not in the south. >> you've been part of some of the most controversial cases in your state court. has something changed? is the polarization worse or does your inspiring counterbalancing help? >> it's going to take all of us. there are over 300 million americans. in florida we have 16 million floridians. we can't do it alone. what's unique about what we're doing as judges and former judges speaking out about it, because it's one thing for lawyers speak out. no offense, law professors. >> i'm on leave right now, sabbatical, so -- >> but to understand -- i mean, i grew up at a time, i believed in the constitution and constitutional rights. and to believe that you can make
a decision that was fair based on the constitution, protecting not the rights of the majority, because you look at james madison, he said, no, the judicial branch exists to protect the rights of the minority. not minorities, but someone who may have unpopular views on speech. flag burning, a terribly offensive subject. and so if judges feel that they have to put their finger up to the wind to make this decision, as justice ternus said, it has a terribly intimidating effect. right after our election there was a pension case, and we ruled -- the majority ruled that the pension law that had been passed by the legislature was constitutional. that did not make teachers happy or unions. so next thing we see, well, the unions are saying, who are those people? we're going to vote against them next time. so that's not a good thing. so i guess the answer is, we've got to keep on -- we've got to
continue the conversation and realize that if we want to celebrate the rule of law and what's great about our country, we've got to protect our judges from politics. >> that deserves a round of applause as well. [applause] just one more question before i turn to judge blackburne-rigsby. when we met i saw you at a public panel and you were asked the obvious question -- wasn't your court being political in bush v. gore? and you had quite a powerful response to that. >> yes, i did. what i said was the message from our court was, every vote should count. we weren't dictating a particular result, and that we had many opportunities, during the six weeks of litigation, to come up with a decision. because there was only 600 votes that separated bush from gore, to come up with decisions that would have given the election to
gore. how would we come up with it if we were saying there should be a statewide recount where votes undeniably had been recountsed where we felt there should be. so the majority of us felt that we were vindicating the best tradition that every vote counts. so, no, i to this day will defend what our court did as being consistent with the precedent of the court and of the states who make sure that elections are conducted fairly. and i think at that point we were discussing whether it was the supreme court attacked politically or our court. that's what's not good, for someone to say, well, we like your decision because we wanted gore. we didn't like your decision because we wanted bush. that wasn't what was at stake. so i would defend very much what the florida supreme court did in
2000. >> great, thank you so much for all that. judge blackburn-rigsby, you are the president of the national association of women judges, and thank you, first of all, for your leadership of this wonderful organization. >> thank you. >> a round of applause for that, sure. i think all of us are persuaded by the crucial function you serve. so the experience of these two justices is not unique. across the country from kansas to north carolina, washington, texas and most recently oklahoma, there have been a series of high-profile attacks on judges. describe some of those attacks. tell us about what's going on in oklahoma, for example. >> well, i first have to say that the fact that we're having this discussion here at the national constitution center is so important and that we have so many people here engaged in this conversation with us, because one of the issues of concern and one of the reasons why the
national association of women judges cares about this issue so deeply is that the independence of our judiciary, the fact that we have fair open courts that are supposed to dispense justice and ensure access to justice for all is a cornerstone of our democracy. the design was that we would have three independent branches of government that had specific and important functions. and when we begin to overly politicize the judicial branch, which traditionally was the branch that was supposed to be one that had the -- more ability to make decisions based on case-by-case determinations of the law and the facts, when you blur those lines with the legislative branch, where the legislature is elected by popular support of the constituents and they have a constituency to report to, you
begin to blur the roles and the functions. one of the examples you've heard about, iowa and florida. recently in the news we heard about oklahoma, where their high court voted to stay initially execution there until they could get a little more information about the lethal injection manufacturer, because there were some concerns. and there was a public outcry and threats to impeach those justices who voted to stay the execution. the decision was changed or reversed or modified, and the execution went forward. and many of you heard the stories of the excruciating nature of the particular execution because the lethal injection was flawed in some way. and we think about our eighth amendment that we should not
have cruel and unusual punishment. and the manner in which the execution was carried out, i think, met, unfortunately, that standard. but that's just one example. there are examples in other parts of the country, and i think where the national association of women judges comes in, we are an organization of women judges at all levels of the judiciary, and we have male judges, colleagues who are members, members of the bar, who are in all 50 states. trial, appellate, administrative, military judges, indian tribunal judges. the important thing is, a lot of people just don't know a lot about the judiciary and what judges do every day. until one of our loved ones, family members, friends, has to go into a courthouse and that is a part of the problem. and i think what justice ternus and justice pariente have talked about and what justices and lawyers in the community need to do is talk like this.
so a judges project is a civic education program of the national association of women judges, to do just that. we go into communities all across the country and talk about why fair and i am partial courts are important to you, not just important to the judge. and judicial independence, an independent and fair judiciary, it's not about the judge, it is about the community, it's about the people and about our democracy. and so we've collaborated with many organizations, like the national constitution center, local civic groups. it's a nonpartisan, nonpolitical effort, just to talk about what you should look for in a judge. you know, when you go into a courthouse with your elderly parent and you have a will, probate dispute, you should expect the judge will look at the facts of your case and not
that a judge has a preconceived notion or agenda about how this kind of case or this kind of litigant should be treated. and sometimes when you have -- you can continue to watch this discussion our website. we will leave this here as there is a discussion on mexico's oil and gas production. they will outline the decision to outlaw the private sector in their energy market. a panel discussion will follow this event, just getting underway. >> god rest personal -- she did a terrific job of creating a mexico program. so, we are making up for that sacred -- it today. we need to take pieces of mexico together.
anxious to hear how mexico is going to deal with a reform agenda. and it is coming. we thought our time here would let us talk about the details of it. we know that it is going to be coming. it is an exciting thing for us. we want our neighbor to do well. we think energy is a big part of her doing well. we're going to listen and talk a little bit more about that today. i would like to thank all of you for coming in joining a state. could i ask for your applause to welcome laura, who is going to kick this off for you? thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. delightful to be here. it is important to have a restart mexico program. we were just commenting through
lunch that we take each other for granted and we should not. actually, mexico is the second largest customer of the u.s., test after canada. in business, they teach you to take after your customers -- take care of your customers. we are your number one customers. congratulateto csis for hosting this event and for promoting a very timely dialogue. i am very excited to be here and to be able to listen to the experts and understand their point of view on mexico's development on the energy front and were energy in north america is headed. just last month, i was invited to a conference in new york, hosted by goldman sachs, on the north american energy summit. tore, we had the opportunity
listen to different perspectives on the considerable economic impact of this economic revolution. there is a growing consensus that north america has the capability to unlock a great potential and become an energy rich region in the next 20 years. there are very important challenges that we need to address to turn these potentials into a reality. improve infrastructure, regulatory issues, and keep workers in the industry. we have to start thinking about how we're going to adjust these challenges together, in order to facilitate the transformation which is within our grasp. it is already here. our energy sector is very much integrated already in north america. and one of the beauties of this successful integration, in terms
of how we trade with each other is that it together is not coming from a political statement, which would have been difficult to manage. but from reality. it happens. it is the basis for companies and businesspeople to actually go after opportunities and make decisions and make things happen. the one of the main conclusions in this conference summit in new york was the importance of having irregulars were a framework. -- a regulatory framework. it can be effective in the decades to come. reforms andassed updated its framework with a series of far-reaching and deeper forms that will conclude
in legislative dialogue. in congressional terms -- with the approval of the secondary legislation and energy, sometime this summer. there is no doubt in our minds that they will be approved. there are many challenges. these are actually structured and defined. these are structural reforms, encompassing labor, financial services, competition policy, fiscal policy, and the mother of all, the energy sector. they will transform our economy in the years ahead, provided that implementation is successful. the energy reform in mexico is important. the before it takes place, sector remains a center of composure for trade. let me give you a couple of examples.
in 2013, the united states had an investigation of 72% of crude oil exports from mexico, which arrived via tanker. the value is more than two times the value of all of the -- dollars.8 million mexico with a destination of 44% of u.s. exports in 2013. 600,000 products. mexico is the third largest oil supplier to the u.s. after canada. from theenefited natural gas prices in the u.s. and exports rose by 6%, a record level. it will continue to grow in all sectors. but there is also great potential to use this as a
transportation fuel. natural gas exports from the u.s. to mexico will continue to increase in the years to come. we are expanding the national gas price with 2 main projects under construction. projects are scheduled to be in operation by 2015 and 2016. the northaced american region with significant energy reserves. according to the bp energy outlook, north america is the only region in the world that moves from being a net energy border to an exporter. while china and europe become more dependent, north america is becoming self-sufficient. by 2035, north america will be a net oil exporter, accounting for 64% of exports.
by 2017, it will be a net exporter of natural gas. north america has a necessary energy resources. reliable and affordable energy will be a key component to north american manufacturing. in the end, this is the most important component of competitiveness toward the future. energy reform -- u.s. is adjusting to new realities and a potential for -- increasing efficiency, increasing consumption and developing technology of energy reserves. this is an exciting time. the future of mexico and the region -- with our reinvigorated economic engagement with the united states, there is a high level
economic dialogue. for the most bilateral relationship, creating an investment and shared production for the last 20 years. it has been on automatic pilot. now, for the first time in many years, we are addressing this from a public policy perspective. this can be transformational. launched --ves international engagement seeks an alliance with asia. significant indy the world economy. energy reform is a critical part of boosting prosperity. along with their firms under way mentioned,as i just there is a basis to achieve more rapid sustainable economic growth over the next few years and coming days.
>> let me add my welcome to all of you for coming out and -- our a good crowd to welcome visitors today. we're going to talk about mexican oil -- form. at thevery pleased energy and national security programs cosponsoring this event with our americas program headed by carl meechum. caruso, senior advisor to the energy program. the mexico oil and gas reform has been in the works for a number of years. we are going to hear from three peoplemost knowledgeable
i can think of the talk about that. in order we will go, we will start with asus reyes, who is the former secretary of energy, director at pennex. now in the private sector. he works for a private company in mexico city. he will start to talk about about some of the basic elements of the oil and gas reform. he has been right there on the ground as this has developed. sus,ill start with je followed by pedro haas. he has extensive experience with pennex. thats a member of the team did gas marketing, as i recall, back in the day.
then, the private sector. in ad a number of years senior position with mckinsey and company. has very deep insights into how the private sector may respond to these reforms. he will talk about some of the reforms and how the private sector might react and what the implications might be. then, finally, ed morris, who is head ofor, the commodity research at citibank. they are focused on oil and gas. ed has been one of the most -- i think i would call it the most optimistic analysts. one of the most optimistic among those who look at the north american energy scene and put it into a global context.
i think ed may have been the first person who actually projected that north america exports,oil and gas just several years ago. i can't wait to hear even more from ed about mexican oil and gas reforms. how they feed into that kind of analysis and outlook. and the integration into a global gas market. we talked a little bit earlier unconventional oil and gas successes we have had in canada are part of the story. now, we will hear how the mexican oil and gas reforms fit into that north american picture.
and, certainly, we will hear about it from some of the people who are most knowledgeable. we will start with jesus. and, then, we will go right, without delay to pedro, then ed. then, we will have plenty of time for questions and answers from the audience. >> thank you very much. i will try to lay the ground for any discussion for later on. for some of you, you may already have knowledge. it is important to know what is the essence of the reforms and the exchange. if somebody --
ok. all right -- first, in terms of discussing energy issues with the north america, it really is very difficult. room haveds in the discussed this. for tried to disk us this for years. basically, it is an empty discussion. an impossibility to discuss the interaction with energy. they are very significant. and any kind of policy for the future -- mexico could not. basically, it hadto discuss --
had no space to discuss. from a business perspective, the future of energy in north america -- however, the constitutional decembers only last made a change with regard to that. now, the price of investment will be allowed in mexico. the energy sector -- it will be possible in every aspect of the change and the sector. this opening of mexico after a --g discussion between 1938 it happens when only the u.s., also in terms of energy, with carbons --hydro
collecting some of the benefits of a consistent policy over the last few years. there is a major change now in the north american scnenario. the mexican energy reform is more than -- fors absolutely central mexico's economic policies. mexico started rolling very slowly over the last 10-15 year s. it is really a paradigm. you have one year were inflation is low. the country simply is not growing. this government knows for a well.
one of the critical factors is to increase investment in mexico, both public and private. domestic and foreign. for that to happen, ultimately, the energy sector is critical. it is the energy sector that has the capacity to extract a lot of investment. for growth to happen in mexico, you need a more efficient energy sector. because it is central hasnvestment and because it limitations, it is central for mexico and for this administration. what is the essence of the reform? this is a very deep and far-reaching reform. it basically --
it sounds simple, but it is a complete change. us thought that probably we could get some reforms. nobody really dreamed about this. it is really getting as far as possible. it is to the extreme -- the sector. concurring with the they will not disappear. the purpose is basically saying the we want to maximize resources allocated to the hydrocarbons of mexico. that has been limited because mexico's constitutional framework basically says, only one agent will be responsible for exploiting the hydrocarbons from mexico.
that agent is pemex. the constitution went further. it is you who has this privilege. but you have to do it all by yourself. that was a complete anomaly. do see, the oil companies not have the provision of bartering with somebody else to do the things that they will companies have to do. mexico, it is very limiting to the development of the hydrocarbons. to partnerows pemex with whomever it wants. in some cases, with a majority stake. interests.o pemex's and it can do it in a very flexible way, completely flexible way.
that is really the -- one of the issues that the reform encompasses. change is so radical that it will obviously shake up pemex. it andiwill transform make it much faster. changes affect your life at pemex. before, it was impossible to make pemex move. to move in ae different or action -- view, there is a caveat to the reform. the government did not include that. within --pemex some of us have really pushed forward and say what?
it is relatively easy, far-reaching change to take pemex out. the problem is, all of the red tape, all of the government agencies have intervened. they make day-to-day decisions within the company. the government did not do that. i worked there for eight years. i know that the people are control freaks. a feeling thate things are the same way they have been. -- if you see in this reform the critical issue is that there is too much intervention in many of these issues that should have been left to pemex by itself.
thereform also reaches energy sector. it allows for a third-party. the private sector is already the mexican electricity sector. now, you will physically -- parties to get in contact as providers with the consumers, what they call the qualified consumers. they would also allow for other companies to -- for the cfe 2 -- a national utility to outsource several of the things that were limited. they had to do it by themselves and now they would be able to -- the private sector would be able to finance and